Snapshot … Petra

So it dawns on me this morning that I haven’t written any posts on one of my favourite countries to travel to … Jordan! In 2008 I did a 2-3 week trip to Turkey and followed it up with an 8 day trip to Jordan. For those interested in the itinerary, I did the Jordan Explorer trip offered by Peregrine Adventures. In a word … AWESOME! I loved everything about Jordan, from the landscape to the history to the wonderful people. One of my favourite sites in Jordan is the magnificent ancient city of Petra. Even if you don’t immediately recognise the name, I’m betting any of you that are film-lovers would have seen it. It features in the final scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. 

Petra, also known as the Rose City because of the colour of the surrounding rock, is seriously old. I’m not even completely sure when it dates from as this whole region is steeped in the earliest of civilisation, we’re talking somewhere around the 6th Century BC (yep, BC!). The city of Petra was the capital city for the ancient Nabataean people and was a popular centre of trade as it lay on multiple caravan routes. Petra is a UNESCO World Heritage site and rightly so, I would recommend it to anyone.

When you arrive at the site it’s not immediately obvious what awaits you. You can’t see anything from the carpark. To enter the city of Petra, you must first walk through The Siq… a long, winding, narrow gorge that weaves it’s way through the rock. The walk is just over a kilometre long and not at all strenuous. As you walk you will notice the faded and eroded remains of figures carved into the rocks and strange cut out troughs. Petra was quite an advanced city, the troughs you see are a water system – to allow fresh water to travel into the city and its inhabitants. As you emerge from The Siq you are met with Petra’s most famous structure … Al Khazneh or “The Treasury” as its also known. The striking thing about Petra’s buildings is that they are carved into the rose coloured rock walls of the city. An incredible achievement, the precision and skill of these ancient people just boggles the mind!

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Inside The Siq

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Nearing the end of The Siq and we start to see the city

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Al Khazneh (The Treasury)
From Al Khazneh you walk further into the city. The rock walls are full of tombs and temples, an amphitheatre, columned walks and mosaic tiles floors. If you are up for the challenge you can climb the 800-plus steps to the magnificent El Deir (The Monastery) … this impressive structure is even larger than Al Khazneh as it is 50 metres wide and 45 metres high! And if your legs are weary after than climb you can always ride a donkey back down. Now, don’t quote me on this, but from memory I seem to recall my guide that day mentioning that something like only 8% of the city of Petra has been excavated. Which is incredible because it’s already huge – we easily spent an entire day there. It is a must see, a beautiful historical site, in a stunning country full of beautiful historical sites and breathtaking landscapes.

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The Palace Tomb
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The Great Temple
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This post is part of the A-Z Challenge for April 2016

Click here for a list and links to my other challenge posts!

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42 thoughts on “Snapshot … Petra”

    1. Thanks, Cheryl. They are two fantastic countries, well worth travelling too. I went in the month of August, it wasn’t too bad temperature wise. Yep, 800 steps or a donkey lol 🙂
      When are you thinking of heading over now?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know what you mean. I’ve enjoyed your posts on Africa. Loved every animal shot and imagined being there. A continent I so want to visit. 🙂 I’ve found blogging to be a budget friendly way to travel around the globe. Hehe! And there are so many places and languages that I hadn’t heard of.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I do wonder sometimes whether we, humans of this millennium, can build such wonders or not. Those hands that built this city have nothing, if we compare their tools with ours.
    This place is indeed magical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 800 steps up (yikes) and a donkey ride down, now that sounds pretty good to me. Wow, what a place. I think Petra has just shot up the very top of my bucket list. It looks absolutely breath taking. Thanks for taking me there Kim. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming along for the journey, Miriam. I loved Jordan and Petra was somewhere I had always wanted to go! As it turns out … It became my second favourite place in Jordan. The favourite will be coming up when we get to “W” … 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Liesbet! I’ve been slowly reading my way through your blog … I’ve got no doubt you’ll make it to Jordan. What fantastic travels you’ve had so far!
      Haha I’m glad you enjoyed the larger than life photos too 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for this post as Jordan and Petra are definitely on my bucket list – it’s so nice to see more than just the treasury as that is the iconic image that is usually shown. Beautiful pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Pamela. You’re right, most often you just see The Treasury – so you can imagine my surprise when I saw just how much more there was to Petra! It’s a beautiful country, with so many wonderful places to visit. I’ll have another Jordan post coming up when I get to “W” in the A-Z Challenge 🙂

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  4. Majestic! Every pic makes humans appear so tiny and powerless. Its incredible what the ancients could do.It always makes my mind reel what kept them going to create such magnanimous sites! And after seeing all these colossal structures you said that only 8% of Petra has been excavated!? Dear dear! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Prabhat! Yeah, from memory I’m sure the guide said only 8% … which is staggering! Can you imagine how massive it must’ve been?! The scale of these structures really does make us humans look small and insignificant 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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